Red Lights Review

Red Lights (2012) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier


Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Writer: Rodrigo Cortés
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy

Plot:  Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.
Running Time: 1 hour 54 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 29%   Audience 36%

Why I watched it: Mostly the cast, I’m on record saying I think Cillian Murphy is not only underrated but also one of the best actors working today.  The trailer was not bad, it gave me hope.

What I liked: The selling point of the film was easily the best part and that’s the acting, Murphy is good, Weaver is good but I’ll warn you she’s not in it a lot.  De Niro was decent, I would call this a pay check movie for him but just his baggage helped the film. The idea of the film is good, I liked being introduced into this world and I liked the chemistry between Murphy and Weaver.  I liked the way they went about trying to prove that any so called psychic has to be faking it.  The look of the film is eerie and very atmospheric. It’s a creepy film, not horror but it could have been.

What I didn’t like: Muddled, that’s the best way to describe this film, it has so many ideas and so many things to say it ends up in a pile of babble.  I’ll be honest evening after watching it I’m not sure what it was about, sure is De Niro a psychic, seems easy enough but the film goes to great lengths to make this film strange and difficult to follow.  By the end the main plot point is an after thought cause they throw a twist in that changes the whole idea of the film.  I won’t spoil it cause it’s a decent twist but in the end it makes the film even more muddled.  Add to the fact that this film is long at almost two hours and man it drags, this film should have been tighter, this film could have been scary but instead it’s trying to be a thoughtful art house film with a B-Movie plot.

The thing I can’t get by is the script, it doesn’t work and that’s a shame cause if they would have told a somewhat straight story about the paranormal and focused on Weaver and Murphy this film would have worked so much better but they decided to focus on things that seemed less thought out, it’s like the director said I’ll be vague, let the audience figure it out for themselves but really it comes off as he didn’t have an answer.  The ending is way over done and makes it a louder and showy film and it kind of goes against what they did leading up to it, I’ll sum it up the ending seemed forced.

Final Thoughts: An interesting misfire, not a mess of a film but a film that is hurt by a lack of focus and crisp storytelling.

Rating: 4/10

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